Sunday, September 28, 2014

Can He Come Out? Can He Come Out and Slam and Jam?

So, you may remember back in 2009, Chubb Rock teamed up with newcomer Wordsmith to release a mixtape called A Crack In the Bridge. It was just a little mp3-only thing that was leading up to their official, real album, Bridging the Gap. But that never came out, except as another bunch of mp3s, because of some problem with the distribution which apparently made the label lose all interest in the project and leave it in limbo. Pre-orders were taken everywhere from ughh to amazon, but were left eternally unavailable. Suncoast/ FYE even took my money for, sent me a DJ Whoo Kid CD, then had me send it back, and still kept my money. That's because FYE are a bunch of crooks; the second biggest reason you should never do business with them... the first being their prices. Wait. What was this post about again? Oh yeah. heh

Bridging the Gap never came out physically. But lookie what I found! This is a promo-only CD for the lost album's lead single, "Old 2 the New." This came out in 2009 from NU Revolution Entertainment - this is the one they made the Matrix-themed video for - and was apparently initially sent to a radio station. So I'm not sure how many of these were made, but there are probably at least a few more. The only remnants of the Chubb Rock album that almost was.

As you can see in my photo, "Old 2 the New" was produced by Strada, who did a lot of stuff with Wordsmith in 2009, including a lot more of the missing Bridging the Gap, and Word's solo album A Baltimore Martini, which he did put out. The title's rather unimaginatively taken from a Nice 'N Smooth song from 1994, which became a hit and lead to a ton of compilation albums and mixtapes to be released with the same title.  In the 90s; I was kind of surprised to see it still pop up again in 2009. But don't let the recycled title put you off; it's actually a cool, little song.

The concept is pretty simple: Chubb Rock is old school, Wordsmith is new school, and they're working together. That was also the whole concept for Bridging the Gap. Lyrically, it's not gonna split your skull with beams of light or anything, but both MCs come off rather smoothly and pleasantly. And the track has two distinct instrumental forms it keeps shifting between depending which MC is rapping. Chubb's part is driven more by a cool funk guitar sample, and Word's by some nice keyboard riffs and fake horns. I can see said fake horns limiting this song's appeal to the more serious heads with strict standards, but if you're open-minded, this is a fun, catchy track.

So it's just the one version of the one song on here. It's just a CD, not vinyl, and of course the song's been rotting on the ITunes vine for years. So there's probably only a very small subset of a small subset of heads who'd be excited about this find, but I'm one of 'em.  :)  It's the only physical release from the Chubbster in a decade, though he's been teasing us with online only material like crazy: a bevy of myspace songs and ITunes collabos with mostly R&B types, of course the Wordsmith stuff, an EP dedicated to Obama, an appearance on the latest Unkut mix, and most recently an EP with DJ Mighty Mi. It looks like he's been long retired in the real world, but on the internet, he's been pretty damn prolific. Which I guess is pretty "old 2 the new" of him. But he better not ask us to pre-order anything more music through FYE :P

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